Several weeks ago Wells & Mendip Museum closed its doors as a result of this unprecedented lockdown. Sadly the museum’s busy schedule of exhibitions, local community groups and talks had to be cancelled, and the collections and archives were closed to visitors.
The museum’s survival is now threatened.
Wells & Mendip Museum is an independent self-funded charity. Unlike many museums we are not funded by local government, relying instead on donations, tickets, venue hire and shop sales.
With the loss of all room bookings, tickets and shop sales, our income has dropped significantly. We have taken steps to dramatically reduce outgoings, but it still costs £500 a week to look after the collections and historic listed building.
The museum is an important community hub. Groups of all ages, from U3A to the Young Archaeologists’ Club, meet at the museum. Local artists exhibit there. Long-standing societies, such as the Wells Natural History and Archaeological Society, hold talks there. The walled garden offers a relaxing space for garden parties and fairs.
Our collections contain material of national significance and are a vital resource for researchers across many disciplines. Our library is invaluable for local and family history research. The Wells City Archives, housed at the museum, are a unique repository of historic documents and maps from Wells and beyond.
The museum is kept going thanks to the dedication of over 50 volunteers, from curatorial and library to front-of-house and maintenance. With exciting development plans in the pipeline, this is a critical time for the museum.
We desperately need your help to get through the COVID-19 crisis.
Please donate whatever you can. All money raised through Crowdfunder will go to the museum.
The Museum Team
This atmospheric photo is one of the many fascinating items in the museum collections. It was taken in Wells marketplace on VE Day, 1945, by local photographer Bert Phillips. The girls are the pupils of St Brandon's School who were evacuated to the Bishop's Palace during the war. St Brandon's was a school for the daughters of clergy which is why the palace was chosen. With your help we can continue to care for our important collections.